Build vs Buy Software: Key Factors to Consider

Brad McEvoy
Co-founder and CTO of Kademi

Coding software vs using software out of the box

Are you looking for a smarter way to build a business solution? One that saves you time, money and reduces commercial risk? 

If the answer is yes, you’re certainly not alone. Whether you’re looking to build an online store, sales incentive program, or customer loyalty program, there’s a wide variety of options on the market when it comes to choosing a software provider. This brings up the critical question of "build vs buy"—should you develop a custom solution or purchase an existing one? Few businesses are able to “tick all the boxes” when selecting the right software solution to suit their needs.


Navigating the Build vs Buy Dilemma in Software Solutions

Having the option to build bespoke software enables you to design exactly what you want and provides complete ownership of the software. However building, managing, and maintaining bespoke software comes with a hefty price tag, ultimately resulting in commercial risk to your business.

Should you build software tailored to your exact needs, or buy software that is readily available but may require compromises? Each option has its own set of advantages and drawbacks, making the build vs buy software decision a crucial one for any business.

Then, there’s the less expensive and readily accessible commercially off-the-shelf (COTS) software, which brings us to the "build vs buy" dilemma. COTS software is an efficient way to start interacting with customers sooner by configuring software instead of building it. However, these options have limitations, generally only supporting a single business solution such as sending emails or managing an online store.


Kademi: Bridging the Build vs Buy Gap

In today’s highly competitive market, businesses want the best of both worlds - to tailor a software solution and enter the market quickly, all while being cost effective. 

That’s why Kademi created a smarter way, that allows you to access all the tools you need in a single platform, giving you the ease and efficiency of COTS software so you can configure your solution in hours. Then, depending on your individual needs, you can extend and customize your solution using a software developer without breaking the budget.

Watch the below video and discover how easy it is to configure a B2B sales incentive program in under five minutes using Kademi.

How to Make the Decision?




In conclusion, the decision between building custom software and buying off-the-shelf solutions hinges on a business's specific needs, budget, and timeline. Custom software provides tailored solutions but involves higher costs and risks, while off-the-shelf software offers a quicker, more cost-effective approach with potential compromises. Kademi proposes a hybrid method, combining the efficiency and affordability of off-the-shelf software with the flexibility of custom solutions, allowing businesses to balance cost, time, and functionality effectively.



  • An online store
  • B2B sales incentive program
  • Customer loyalty program 
  • Collect feedback from my customers 
  • Online training 

If time isn’t on your side and you need to enter the market quickly, then maximize COTS software that will give you a competitive advantage.

If you have a limited budget, a progressive COTS is your ideal solution. It keeps your setup costs low so you have more funds to invest in content creation, marketing, and management of the solution.

If you’re not willing to budge and you can’t compromise on requirements that work within the capabilities of COTS software, you’ll need to go down the path of custom software development. Using Kademi’s approach, however, your core business solution can be configured in hours, then lightly customized using a software developer without breaking the budget. This includes features like sales incentive software, tailored to your specific needs.

Relying on software developers to make changes to your solution every time you need it updating can be expensive. So consider a platform like Kademi, that enables you to switch on additional capabilities, and drop-in application components, and improve your solution over time with ease.

If you need to resell or replicate a solution, Kademi provides tools to easily replicate and scale solutions without the need to rely on software developers every time.

If you would like to discover how Kademi’s software can save you time, and reduce cost and commercial risk, reach out using the below form, or contact your success manager if you’re an existing Kademi customer.


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